Sunday, February 22, 2015

Spring, is That You??

     Yesterday began cold, the day slowly warmed, but today I woke up to 40 degrees. Really?! I don't think we've seen a day above 35 since, maybe, December? Anyway, I welcome the warmth and do so by spending as much time outside as I can. I walked Plumb Beach, then a few areas in Floyd Bennett Field, and completed the day with a 7.6 mile run.
     I walked around today with an unzipped jacket (because I was sweating!), and only two layers of pants, instead of the three I have been wearing lately. I also didn't need to wear gloves or a scarf, but I kept the huge snow boots, and glad I did, because I did a lot of wading through 2-3inch pools of snow melt water, especially on the ex-runways of Floyd Bennett Field. 
     Todays biggest joy was just being comfortable outside, for the first time this winter; it makes me excited for migration and spring!
Plumb Beach... remembering last summer, how I came here to bird, then laid on the sand, put my feet in the water and rode my bike home. I cannot wait to get that back! The snow is pretty to look at, but I'm over it!
Brooklyn Icebergs! Frozen salt water washed up on Plumb Beach.
Even the jetty looks cold.
Unlike the horned larks I saw last week, hunkered down, braving the wind and bitter cold, these guys showed lots of leg and ran all about the scraggly grasses looking for seeds to eat.
A mockingbird greets me at Floyd Bennett.
I have a soft spot for crows. I used to work with a few individuals when I was a zookeeper and they are just as intelligent and quirky as they say, so I love and appreciate crows, ravens, jays, corvids of any kind! This lucky guy found a piece of bread. There seemed to be a pile of dumped loaves of bread right behind him.
I also find crows really beautiful, those wings are gorgeous!

I have seen grackles and crows using a trick to more easily eat hard pieces of bread.
The crow who nabbed the bread must be high ranking in the pecking order of crows, because crows flew by, or watched from trees, no one bothered the bread winner at all.
Hard bread? Put it on west surfaces to soften it up! I have also seems crows and grackles dip stale bread and crackers in ponds to more easily eat them. Heck, even the crows I cared for as a keeper, would dip their food to soften up pellets.
Long time no see, Gray Catbird! So happy to hear your "meow!"
The crows gave up this guy, a red shouldered hawk, was a nice find.
Ring billed gull reflections.
A mixed group of lesser and greater scaup, males and females.
A handsome ring billed gull.
Snow melt provides fresh water, and a communal bath for gulls.
A very handsome greater black backed gull.
Found a solo fox sparrow in the community gardens near the feeders. I love these guys, I will be sad to see them go up North.
It was really nice to see a bunch of butter butts! Yellow-rumped warblers were abundant today. Can't wait for more warblers this spring!